Best practices from page 11
Starts with a plan
Mr . Heckert said , “ Our approaches for insurance-related discussions are generated through existing relationships as we encourage everyone to go through our planning process . Many of these prospects start in a 401 ( k ) plan that we offer in our full planning service model . The insurance is part of their total planning and not the origin of the call . Other leads have come to us through past interactions or from the client lists of the many firms that we ’ ve merged into our firm . This drives a lot of the life insurance activity because many of the older policies are not performing in the low interest rate environment and must be reviewed .”
Wayne D . Minich , CLU , ChFC , is president of Applied Financial Concepts , Inc ., in Richfield , Ohio . His firm does financial planning primarily for business owners , with a concentration on wealth accumulation , management , transfer , and business exit strategies . Mr . Minich has seen no change in recent months as to who he approaches , and in light of his tenure in the business that makes good sense . He explained , “ Our firm has assisted business owners and individuals by designing , implementing , updating , and improving their corporate and personal financial strategies since 1971 . We do so by tailoring a fee-based plan to each client ’ s specific needs . Any implementation of financial products is a by-product of the planning process . Our clientele has continued and will continue to generally remain the same despite whatever the cataclysm du jour , COVID-19 included . People still have the same questions and problems , and they still need advice specific to their situations .”
Stay the course
Following up on the subject of potential changes in who is being approached , I asked about what is working in their practices , in terms of products or approaches to the client discussion itself . Mr . Hecker said , “ The best approach is an honest discussion of their need for coverage . If a policy is imploding , we have a thorough discussion of the need for the coverage and ask whether their financial situation has changed since they purchased the policy . Many times , we find there is not a need for the policy , and we discuss options for cancellation . This then leads into a total planning option where we discuss cash flow and survivor incomes .”
Mr . Minich said , “ A piece of advice we have given perpetually , especially since the 2007-2008 financial downturn , has been : When — not if — the next downturn occurs , that is the time to consider investing more .
“ Interestingly , in mid-March this year we received numerous calls from clients heeding that advice . Not only did they listen , retrospectively , but as of the date in August that I am responding to this question , the markets have returned to , and in some cases exceeded , where they were at the end of January .”
For Ms . Hannam , because of her firm ’ s approach to the business , the product question isn ’ t really an appropriate one . “ Honestly ,” Ms . Hannam said , “ we rarely have product discussions . We believe in finding the right solution for each consumer and finding the product that will be the best fit to achieve his or her goal .”
Closing out the year
As we are fast approaching the end of this very strange year , I asked all three of these pros how they are positioning their organizations for success in 2021 . For Mr . Minich , his organization will continue to focus on what they know has worked and is continuing to work , but they are anticipating one important change . “ There is no magic elixir ,” he said . “ Hence , our business will continue utilizing the same processes it has — with one exception . We are now conducting many more meetings remotely and anticipate continuing to do so in 2021 .”
“ We intend to continue our growth strategy of acquiring clients from other advisors who are retiring and serving those new clients — wherever they may be — with enhanced virtual communication methods .”
Brian Heckert — CLU , ChFC , Founder and CEO of FSM Wealth , Inc .
“ A piece of advice : When — not if — the next downturn occurs , that is the time to consider investing more .”
Wayne D . Minich — CLU , ChFC , President of Applied Financial Concepts , Inc .
Best practices continued on page 14
12 Perspectives Q4 2020